A new business incubation program by Craft Afrika and Kiva.org, an international funding NGO is set to change the fortunes of craft entrepreneurs in Kenya. With registration currently ongoing, the program will train an initial 15 participants in its pilot project.
The six month program starts January 16 next year and targets entrepreneurs in the handicraft sector, providing participants with individualized business training, mentoring, market access services and capital investment in their businesses.
Craft Afrika is a social enterprise with a mission to support craft enterprises become sustainable and focuses on urban youth, Craft Afrika seeks to provide an avenue of self-employment by strengthening the business foundation of these micro enterprises.
According to Craft Africa, “The last couple of months have seen Kenya’s creative economy receive a lot of attention coupled with several initiatives aimed at positioning the industry as lucrative. The latest was the unveiling of a roadmap by the Information and Communications ministry. The proposal document seeks to identify the catalytic elements that would propel the industry as a top GDP earner.”
The organisation therefore wants to put forward is the ‘implementation of programs and policies to enhance business and marketing skills of creative practitioners’. Creative entrepreneurship training, especially one designed to a sector- such as handicrafts- is difficult to come by. Indeed, the sector is in dire need of training that meets international standards.
To this end, the Craft Enterprise Incubation Program is working with international partner, Cape Craft Design Institute of South Africa, in developing and delivering course content. Additionally, Craft Afrika has undertaken a partnership with Kiva, an organization that lends money to individuals around the globe at zero percent interest rate. Through Kiva, participants at the incubation program will be able to borrow and inject capital into any aspect of their business.
Furthermore, the course participants will have a fantastic opportunity to access a new online market by leveraging on the lender-borrower model that exists within the global Kiva network.